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00:00 / 30:24

”And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”Galatians 5:24

“We can walk in this newness because we were crucified with Christ, and we take action, probably on a daily basis to crucify again and again the flesh still in us. “Galatians 5:24 does not teach the same truth as Galatians 2:20 or Romans 6:6. In those verses we are told that by faith-union with Christ ‘we have been crucified with him’. But here it is we who have taken action. We ‘have crucified’ our old nature. It is not now a ‘dying’ which we have experienced through union with Christ; it is rather a deliberate ‘putting to death’.

What does it mean? Paul borrows the image of crucifixion, of course, from Christ himself who said: ‘If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’ (Mk. 8:34). To ‘take up the cross was our Lord’s vivid figure of speech for self-denial. Every follower of Christ is to behave like a condemned criminal and carry his cross to the place of execution. Now Paul takes the metaphor to its logical conclusion. We must not only take up our cross and walk with it, but actually see that the execution takes place. We are actually to take the flesh, our wilful and wayward self, and (metaphorically speaking) nail it to the cross. This is Paul’s graphic description of repentance, of turning our back on the old life of selfishness and sin, repudiating it finally and utterly.” (Stott)

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